A collections agent acts as a third party between the business and its customers, to collect any outstanding debts and payments from customers on behalf of the business. Their role is to communicate with customers to inform them about what they owe and when it is due, provide documentation evidence and then collect the payments.
They are responsible for ensuring contractual obligations are upheld, and if necessary, enforcing legal action to ensure any overdue debts are settled. Collections agents must record all payments and all communication with customers effectively, as well as work with other departments in the organisation such as sales and legal, to create and implement strategies to achieve collection goals.
Day-to-day tasks of this role:
- Review customers who have outstanding debts, and schedule a meeting with them.
- Liaise with other departments in the organisation to determine strategies to best approach customers about collecting payments.
- Negotiate payment arrangements and timelines with each customer.
- Continuously maintain and update customer payment records.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Skills profile for a Collections Agent
A collections agent may hold a tertiary qualification in law or sales, however a formal education is not always required for this role. Valuable on-the-job training and relevant industry experience is favourable. There are some common skills required for this position.
It is essential that a collections agent is extremely resilient. They must have the ability to manage high volumes of customers with emotional situations, and not allow the stresses and confronting nature of the role negatively impact them personally. Collections agents must also have protective mechanisms in place to ensure they are not adversely impacted by the demands of the role.
It is important that collections agents are direct, yet also empathetic towards customers. They must understand that customers will be highly emotional, stressed and angry at some times, and display empathy towards them while continuing to provide important information. They must also build rapport with customers, even when needing to have tough and uncomfortable conversations.
Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position.
Collections Agent Job Description
- Why is this role being filled?
- How does this role fit into the organization and the team?
- What makes your company unique?
- What would it be like to work for you?
- What technical skills are needed for this role?
- Which soft skills are applicable?
- What are the nice-to-have experiences of your ideal candidate?
- Include availability preferences in this section
- What are the key deliverables for this role?
- What does the day-to-day of this role look like?
- Compensation & bonuses
- Employee benefits & perks
- Ongoing training benefits
PRO TIP #1
As this role can be quite confronting, emotional and stressful at times, it is important to include this in the job description to ensure that any candidate who applies for the role is aware of the nature and full scope of the position. This will ensure your business hires the right person, and that frequent employee turnover is reduced.
PRO TIP #2
Ensure that the entire recruitment process from job description to assessment to interview reiterates your company vision and values. This will help you identify the right people for the role, and applicants will know whether your company is the right fit for them.
Sample skills assessment
Question Type: Document
How do you ensure your communication is clear and concise when the person on the receiving end is emotional and potentially not listening. Do you have previous examples?
Question Type: Text
How do you think you will display customer empathy while maintaining a professional demeanour in this role?
Question Type: Video
How would you handle a role where everyday you are dealing with emotional callers. Have you been in a similar situation previously?
Interview guide for a Collections Agent
Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The PDF interview guide contains structured questions against each of the competencies for this role.
This interview guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Vervoe skills assessment. Where a candidate has scored Low – Medium on a skill, focus on asking more questions from that skill to gain deeper insight into their level of competency.
PDF INTERVIEW GUIDE
Get your copy of the interview guide to complete the hiring process. Includes questions against each of the skill competencies for the role.